Focus on your strengths

perfectionist comic

Lots of well-meaning people tell you to work on your weaknesses but I have found that working on my strengths gives me better success in life.

The argument goes that by improving your weakness and turning it into a strength you will be a more well-rounded person. The fact is that companies do not hire well-rounded people, but specialists for most positions with specific skills and experience. Having less weakness doesn’t matter to them. They only care if you have the skills that they want.

perfectionist comic
perfectionist comic

Therefore I have gotten more jobs by adding skills by using my strengths, than trying to become something I am not. I am flexible, but I am not a silver bullet. I can’t do everything well. You have to accept that you won’t be good at everything, and that is not only ok but for the best. If you were good at everything then your coworkers would be jealous, you would be arrogant, and you wouldn’t have the chance to learn and grow on the job.

It must be the perfectionistic idea in Western culture that we can become perfect if we only work at it. You can certainly grow as a person but we will never be perfect. I think that is part of our fascination with robots/technology. We seek to become something through technology that we can’t do by ourselves. Leave our weaknesses behind and be perfect.

However, being human means being in error and faulty. The more that we can love the fact that we are failable the more we can accept others. For example, I used to be a perfectionist and with time I have realized the error of my ways. I thought that only the highest quality would allow me to survive, but I have learned that you can give people junk and they are happy with it. Your standards are not other people’s standards, so if it is good enough for the purchaser, then it is good enough for me.

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Therefore, focus on your strengths, and when interviewers ask you what your weakness is say that I am human and we all share the same weakness. We are failable and that is ok.